Marketing loves to use children and puppies (or other cute animals). With the rise of social networking, the enterprise communication, collaboration, content and social (3CS) software vendors are not immune to marketing with children and puppies when it comes to touting the benefits of their social capabilities. Children and puppies make great, feel good social software stories.
Don’t get me wrong – marketing folks are smart and the stories are real. Its just that unless you are in the business of helping children and/or puppies, it is important you separate the emotional appeal from your business requirements.
I attended a vendor’s presentation at a conference where the vendor brought a customer success story on stage that was about helping children. It was touching, and judging by the stream of tweets, very personal for numerous members of the audience (including myself) who personally had experience with sick children.
But the analyst in me had to roll back and examine the content: What were the technologies used and why? How exactly did they facilitate the business case and achieve the objective of helping children? What are the alternatives and are any of them better?
The problem was that is not what the presentation was about – it was about telling the story of helping children (which it did quite effectively). What it didn’t effectively say was how can this presentation help a customer to see how these solutions can help their business.
Enterprise 3CS can help children and puppies, but IT professionals need to be wary of vendor marketing and understand what their business is trying to accomplish. Take a step back and recognize the power of the emotional appeal.